Current Group Members

Mason MacDougall

UCLA graduate student 2019 -

Mason has been searching for planets around other stars since his first research endeavors at Caltech, having now helped to identify new exoplanet candidates from both the Kepler and TESS missions. Through his ongoing work on exoplanet characterization at UCLA, he hopes to unveil new insights about the dynamics of small planets, including the origins and extremes of their orbital eccentricities. 

Judah Van Zandt

UCLA graduate student 2019 -

Judah’s research uses the radial velocity (RV) and transit methods to study the planetary structure of other solar systems. He is currently conducting an RV survey with the Keck and APF telescopes to determine the conditional occurrence of long-period giant planets in systems with close-in rocky ones. Combining these RVs with high-precision astrometry measurements from the Gaia and Hipparcos missions gives his survey sensitivity to companions even with periods well beyond the observing baseline.

Isabel Angelo

UCLA graduate student 2020 -

Isabel studies extrasolar planets to learn about how planets form and evolve. For her research, she combines observational and theoretical tools such as radial velocities and dynamical simulations to uncover exoplanet orbital architectures and formation histories. 

Dakotah Tyler

UCLA graduate student 2020 -

Dakotah is interested in studying exoplanet atmospheres to better understand the mechanisms by which they form and evolve over time. He is currently analyzing transit observations of hot gas giants to probe their exospheres for excess Helium I 10830 angstrom absorption; a strong indicator of atmospheric escape. 

Jon Zink

UCLA graduate student 2019 -

Jon is using the population of planets around other stars to understand the physical processes that dictate planet formation. To accomplish this goal he is using the K2 mission data to extract a homogenous catalog of transiting planets. This wide survey of the ecliptic plane enables examination of the stellar host's role in these formation mechanisms. Website